Wondering what the future holds for Southern Columbia when this crew of seniors departs?
The results might not change all that much next season.
Of course, there is no way the Tigers will be as good as they’ve been, it’s nearly impossible for a school that size — even for Southern Columbia — to replace six Division I recruits — five for football along with Lear Quinton, who is headed to Brown University to wrestle.
The cupboard certainly won’t be bare with the likes of Gavin Garcia taking on an even larger role.
Another big help for the future of the Tigers — the ability of the backups to play most of the second halves of these playoff games, and getting the chance to practice against the first team all season.
You saw some of the results of that on display in last week’s win against Upper Dauphin. The Trojans opted to keep their starters in for most of the second half, while coach Jim Roth opted to rest his starters after one drive in the third quarter.
Southern Columbia fumbled the ball away the first time they had the ball, but on its second drive against Upper Dauphin’s first-team defense, the Tigers put together a scoring drive.
Southern Columbia marched 55 yards in eight plays, capped by freshman Wes Barnes’ 7-yard TD run with 3:36 left in the game.
“It’s important. The younger guys have come out and played well against another team’s first-team defense,” Roth said. “It’s certainly good to see. Every one that knows the nature of our roster knows there is a heck of a lot of seniors on it. These young guys competing with first units from other teams and holding their own, it’s great to see at this point.”
Speaking of Roth, he’s getting close to a pretty important milestone. If the Tigers win the state title next week in Hershey, it will give Roth 344 career wins, and tie him with Dunmore’s Jack Henzes, who retired this fall after a health scare.
If next year’s version of Southern Columbia can win 12 games, that will give Roth the state’s career win record, which is 355 currently held by former Berwick coach George Curry.
One of the emails I’ve received a lot over the past 10 days is would Bloomsburg University consider Roth as its next football coach. Being this close to Pennsylvania history, I find it hard to believe Roth would want to leave Southern Columbia.
I’m also not sure the Huskies would hire a coach in his 60s to revive the program.